Serving simple broiled tilapia with spicy Spanish brava sauce is a delicious and healthy way to get more fish into your diet. Start the sauce by sautéing onions in olive oil, then adding paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic, and tomatoes. After about 15 minutes, purée the sauce and add in some sherry vinegar and a few dashes of hot sauce for a little zing. Rub the tilapia with oil, season with salt and pepper, and broil for a few minutes. Top the fish with a little sauce and serve with a Spanish-y salad for a light dinner.
1 (15-ounce) canwhole tomatoes
3 tablespoonsolive oil
1 cup small-dice yellow onion (from about 1/2 medium onion)
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoonhot paprika
1/4 teaspoonred pepper flakes
1 teaspoonkosher salt, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoongranulated sugar
2 teaspoonssherry vinegar, plus more as needed
Several dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce, plus more as needed
4tilapia fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the tomatoes with their juices in a medium bowl and, using your fingers, break them into rough 1-inch pieces; set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved tomatoes and their juices, water, measured salt, bay leaf, and sugar and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, become darker in color, and reduced by about half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, set the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the upper third. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside.
When the sauce is ready, remove and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the sauce to a blender. Add the measured vinegar and hot sauce and blend until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Taste and season with additional salt, vinegar, or hot sauce as desired. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Pat the tilapia dry with paper towels and coat with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet. Broil until opaque and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve with the sauce.